I happened to be watching “UP,” the Pixar movie, and towards the end the little boy scout is telling the old man about his father. At the end of the conversation he says, “You know what’s funny? It’s the boring stuff I remember most. It’s what I miss.” Immediately I felt somewhere down in the chaos of my heart, that line was meant for me, for that day. It demanded investigation. I did what any human does when faced with feelings that have been locked away….I ran. I procrastinated. I distracted myself. It wasn’t long until I found myself alone, in silence, and I knew I couldn’t outrun it any longer. I hate to admit it, but it had probably been a good 3 weeks since I had allowed myself to find solace and quiet, to sort out my thoughts and listen to my heart.
Yet no matter how long you have practiced finding quiet, quieting yourself is a scary thing. Silence isn’t just the absence of conversation. Silence is allowing yourself the absence of conversations with others and embracing the conversation within your own heart. To put voice to the deep things you feel. Give them a chance, and believe me, they will speak loud and clear.
As I sat in silence and reflected on that phrase spoken so profoundly by the writer of Pixar, I began to recount my week. I realized that if I was honest with myself, I missed that crazy week. Wait a minute- I MISSED WHAT? Tucked in that insane week were boring moments, nothing spectacular or anything. Moments like laughing at old songs and listening to Alan Jackson. Moments like drinking way too much hot chocolate with too many marshmallows. Moments like becoming delirious because you’re working way too late. Moments when you’re reading a bedtime story to a child. Moments when you have a random cookie party.
I realized that it was all those little “boring” moments that I actually missed the most, and in fact remembered most.
I still remember when I first went to college. I hated eating, I think I starved myself the first three weeks and then one day I was like, “I’m really REALLY hungry!” If you know anything about me you know I like food, and I eat...a lot. Often. Why on earth did I skip out? Because when I ate I thought of my family- we always ate meals together and now I was alone.
The things I missed where silly “boring” things like the sound of my mother cooking in the kitchen, hearing the pans bang, smelling the food and seeing her in her apron. I missed my sister’s bed-head and getting to tease her. I missed my dad’s jokes and hearing him boil his tea. I missed all those little boring things that I overlooked and accrued everyday, mundane and unimportant process of living. Yet suddenly, like silence, the absence of them made me realize the importance of them.
There was a line on the last episode of THE OFFICE I heard that came back to me, it was something along the lines of, “I wish someone would have told me that those were the good old days I was living in, then I would have enjoyed it more.”
My point, and what I was reminded of by an animated boy scout kid from a Pixar movie was, don’t wait to treasure those “boring” moments. Don’t wait till silence reminds you of their absence to find delight in those tiny golden trinkets. As you go through this week, find joy in the boring stuff, remind yourself you’re living in the “good old days.” One day change will come, and you will look back and miss those silly quirky oddities. Choose to love them now. Then you can rock in your wooden chair and we can all laugh and retell them to our children without regret, for not missing the chance to love each boring moment lived alongside those we care for. My best friend and I constantly will stop each other and and say, “Hey, we're living in the good old days,” a constant reminder to be present, and live into each moment that will become our good old days.